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Football icon Pele dies aged 82

Football icon Pele dies aged 82

Football icon Pele dies aged 82

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Pelé, one of the world’s most famous footballers, died Thursday at the age of 82 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Kely Nascimento, the sports icon’s daughter, confirmed his death on Instagram.

“All we are is because of you,” she wrote alongside a photo of her dad surrounded by loved ones. “We love you so much. Rest in peace.”

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in 1940, the athlete was better known by his childhood nickname, Pelé. As a child, he played football barefoot in the streets of his village. He started his football career at Santos FC at the age of 15, and he started playing for the Brazilian national team a year later. During a hugely successful career, Pelé racked up three World Cup victories, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, a record that has yet to be broken. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Pelé may be best known for his prowess on the court, but the star athlete has gone on to do many other great things over the years. In 1992, he became UN ambassador for the environment. He was made a Unesco Goodwill Ambassador in 1994 and he was made an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997. In 2018 he founded the Pelé Foundation with the aim of helping disadvantaged young people around the world .

In September, Pelé underwent surgery to remove a colon tumor. According to NBC News, he was admitted to hospital last month “to regulate medication for an infection.”

Tributes to Pelé are pouring in from players and fans around the world. “Thank you for the joy you have brought to football fans around the world,” British football club Manchester United tweeted.

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